In different situations in daily life, including when I do inquiry, I sometimes find it helpful to ask myself…
Am I willing to find peace with this situation even if it would never change?
Who would I be if I knew that the situation would never change?
What would have to change in me for me to find peace with it, even if it never changes?
If I have a personality trait I don’t particularly like, can I find peace with it even if it will be around forever? If I have a disease, can I find peace with it even if it never changes? If I have an annoying colleague, what in me would have to change for me to find peace with him or her, even if his or her behavior never changes?
This helps me take more responsibility for how I relate to a disturbance, right now, instead of waiting for it to change, or wishing for it to go away.
Inquiry so the disturbance will change
Sometimes when I do inquiry, I see that I do it with the motivation of wanting the disturbance to go away. I use inquiry as a strategy for changing the disturbance itself.
For instance, I do inquiry in the hope that the annoying parts of my personality will change. I do inquiry in the hope that I will change, and then my partner will change and become more easy for me to deal with.
It can be subtle. My conscious motivation may be to find peace with the situation, but somewhere in the background is the thought that this may be the key for having the disturbance go away.
In seeing inquiry as a strategy for having a disturbance go away, the answers are filtered and sensored. Something arises, and right away there is the question – is this the right key? Should I bring it out and explore it futher, or hold it back? This is one way of muddling the process.
Not really a disturbance, but…
Of course, in doing inquiry for a while, I see that what appears as a disturbance is only a disturbance because of my beliefs around it. In itself, it is innocent. And in seeing the situation more clearly, there is peace with it. It changes from a problem to just a situation.
Still, especially at the beginning of an exploration, there may still be the wish and hope that the situation itself will change.
Going beyond wanting the disturbance to go away
Some statements for inquiry around this…
Inquiry makes problems go away.
I shouldn’t do inquiry to make problems go away.
Problems should go away.
I am more happy if there are no problems.
And as I mentioned at the beginning, I also find that briefly asking myself the question who would I be to find peace with it, even if it will never change helps me go beyond using inquiry as a strategy for making a disturbance go away.